The BioDAR Team

Meet the team 

 

BioDAR is led by researchers from the University of Leeds, University of Exeter, and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science. The project brings together ecologists and radar scientists to produce a step change in the way we monitor our environment, we believe that we benefit from taking a cross-discipline approach to important conservation issues.

Dr Christopher Hassall
Dr Christopher Hassall

Associate Professor of Animal Biology, University of Leeds

Chris Hassall leads the BioDAR Project. His research is motivated by a desire to develop an understanding of how the world works so that people and nature can live together for mutual benefit. This has involved working alongside researchers from many other disciplines, including health, engineering, physics, and the social sciences. In addition to BioDAR, he works on trying to create cities that are hospitable for people and wildlife, conserve valuable freshwater ecosystems around the world, and understand how people’s connectedness to nature can be enhanced and harnessed to better protect the planet. You can find out more about Chris’ research on his website and follow him on Twitter.

Dr Elizabeth Duncan
Dr Elizabeth Duncan

Lecturer, University of Leeds

My background is as an evolutionary and developmental biologist, with a focus on insect evolution. My early work involved examining the evolution of an early developmental pathway found in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and I became enamoured with invertebrate biology, in particular reproduction and development. As a research fellow I continued working in these areas and was also successful in obtaining my own funding to work in the area of phenotypic plasticity. All animals respond to their environment, but some have the ability to change their physiology, biochemistry, behaviour and reproduction in response to an environmental cue; a phenomenon known as phenotypic plasticity.

Dr Ryan Neely III
Dr Ryan Neely III

Lecturer, University of Leeds & National Centre for Atmospheric Science

From an early age Neely knew he enjoyed exploring the natural world with technology. Thus, his academic career has always been a blend of physics, engineering, computer modelling, travelling, and working outdoors. His early work involved research on the impact of elevated levels of CO2 on the primary production of pine trees. and the use of electromagnetic radiation to explore the natural world through Raman spectroscopy, but found his true passion through the use of lidar to explore clouds and aerosol. Neely is one of the founders of the BioDAR Project, along with Liz and Chris, bringing key radar expertise to the study of biodiversity.

Professor Bill Kunin
Professor Bill Kunin

Professor of Ecology, University of Leeds

Bill Kunin is an ecologist whose research focusses on plants and pollinators – in particular wild bees and hoverflies. His research team uncovered some of the first strong evidence of bee declines in Europe, and he has been involved in helping design and set up a national pollinator monitoring scheme (PoMS). Bill is particularly interested in spatial population and biodiversity patterns, and helping develop new tools to monitor and model change in nature.

Dr Robin Lovelace
Dr Robin Lovelace

University Academic Fellow in Transport and Big Data, Leeds Institute for Transport Studies & Leeds Institute for Data Analytics

Robin Lovelace specialises in reproducible data science for transport planning. Recent roles include Lead Developer of the Propensity to Cycle Tool, Principle Investigator of the Cycling Infrastructure Prioritisation Toolkit and author of the open source software package stplanr. Follow Robin on Twitter.

Dr Jason Chapman
Dr Jason Chapman

Associate Professor, University of Exeter

I am a movement ecologist interested in the evolution of animal migration strategies, and the population and community-level effects of these long-range movements. I study insects and birds to answer these questions, and use novel technologies including biological radars, weather radars, meteorological simulations, tethered flight techniques and genomic approaches to characterize their migration ecology. You can find out more at my institutional page and follow me on Twitter.

Dr Maryna Lukach
Dr Maryna Lukach

Radar and Weather Data Scientist, National Centre for Atmospheric Science

Maryna has extensive experience working with weather radar data during her time at the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMI) in 2011 – 2018 and obtained her PhD degree at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, in 2016. Maryna’s doctoral research was focused on theoretical and applied aspects of the multivariate generalised rational interval interpolation with a direct application to the field of weather radar data analysis. Maryna is working to develop novel classification algorithms to interpret biodiversity signals in radar data.

Freya Addison
Freya Addison

PhD Student in Radar Meteorology, University of Leeds

Freya Addison is a radar PhD student studying clouds and collocation for multi-instrument campaigns. Although Freya is an atmospheric scientist rather than a biologist, she has a keen interest in bees and the BioDAR project. In fact, Freya already has experience photographing bees using cloud imaging probes. 

View Freya’s institutional page for more information about her research, and keep up to date with her latest tweets.

Tom Dally
Tom Dally

PhD Student in Pollinator Monitoring and Conservation, University of Leeds

Tom Dally is an ecology PhD student with a passion for insects. His research focuses on the methods we use to monitor insect populations, specifically insect pollinators like bees and hoverflies. He is especially interested in how we can apply novel technologies, like acoustics and radar, to long-term national insect monitoring, and is a keen participant in the BioDAR project.

Keep up with Tom on Twitter, and via his institutional research page.